Gainesville Real Estate and Community News

April 27, 2023

Weekly Gainesville Area Events: April 29 - May 5

Blueberry Festival at Amber Brooke Farms (formerly Red White and Blues Farm)

Join us for our 2nd Annual Blueberry Festival! This is a two-weekend event full of blueberry-themed activities, photo ops, treats, live music, blueberry and sunflower picking, a blueberry mascot, face painting, food trucks, beer and wine, blueberry cobbler made-in-house, and blueberry stomping for wine production.

Location: Amber Brooke Farms (formerly Red White and Blues Farm) 3250 NE 140th Ave, Williston, FL 32696

Time: Saturday, April 29, 2023, 10:00 am -  5:00 pm

Cost: $13 in advance and $15 at the door (2 yrs & under – Free!)

Blueberry Festival | Amber Brooke Farms

La Selva Art Studios Moon Magic Workshop

Moon Magic Workshops combine art and astrology so participants learn about astrology with a dose of creativity.

Astrologer Mercurial Megan will dissect and explain the basic astrological structure and concepts of the birth chart. This workshop supports individuals interested in learning about their birth chart and understanding astrological placements, planets, houses, and degrees. Participants will engage in a creative activity mapping out their personal birth/natal charts as they learn.

Location: 3146 NW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32609

Time: Saturday, April 29, 2023, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Cost: $20-$35

Moon Magic Workshop | Le Selva Art Studios

Florida Theatre presents Dino Ranch Live

For the first time ever, Disney Junior’s Dino Ranch comes to the stage with a fun-filled, action-packed live show. Dino Ranch follows the adventures of the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical, “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs still roam. As the young ranchers learn the ropes, they discover the thrill of ranch life while they navigate the great outdoors through unpredictable challenges.

Location: Florida Theatre 233 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601

Time: Sunday, April 30, 2023,  4:00 pm

Cost: $35-$75

Dino Ranch Live | Florida Theatre

Buchholz Players presents Into the Woods

Buchholz High School Drama Produces Tony Award-Winning Spring Musical

Into the Woods hits the stage with an epic fairytale about wishes, family and the choices we make.

James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone's favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece and a rare modern classic. Into the Woods reminds us that there will be times when each of us must journey into the woods, but that we must mind the future and the past.

This musical production is sure to delight audiences with an impressive set and talented cast. Buchholz Players brought home Top Honors at the State Thespians Festival Competition under the leadership of Ted Lewis.

Location: Buchholz High School Auditorium 5510 NW 27th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32606

Time: Tuesday, May 2, 2023,  7:00 pm -  9:00 pm

Cost: $15 general admission, $12 Students & Seniors

Into the Woods | Buchholz Players

O2B Kids Parents Night Out

Parent Night Out is an Evening of Fabulous Activities for Kids 6 to 13 Years Old

Led by our O2B Play Leaders, kids will enjoy a fun evening where they get to make choices about where to play! There's awesome activities, group games, free play fun, a themed movie and more! A hot cooked dinner is ALWAYS included!

Location: 7383 SW 17th Road, Gainesville, FL 32607

Time: Friday, May 5, 2023,  6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Cost: O2B Members: $15 | Non-Members: $25

Parents Night Out | O2B Kids

Featured Image is by Amos Bar-Zeev on Unsplash

Posted in Community Events
April 13, 2023

Weekly Gainesville Area Events: April 15 - April 21

Regal My Way Matinee: Sensory-Friendly Movies Super Mario Bros

Regal’s My Way Matinee gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie with the lights turned up and the volume turned down. This becomes a safe space where our guests are free to express themselves by singing, crying, dancing, walking around, talking or shouting while enjoying Hollywood’s latest films! Get your tickets here!

These showings will be the first show of the day on select Saturdays and Tuesdays each month. Super Mario Bros: The Movie April 15 & 18

Location: Regal Royal Park 3702 W Newberry Rd, Gainesville, FL 32607

Time: Saturday, April 15, 2023, 11:00 am -  5:00 pm

Cost: Child $13.10, Matinee Adult $14.61, Senior $13.10, Student $14.61

My Way Matinee Super Mario Bros | Regal Royal Park

Charlie’s Snow Shack Family Fun Day

Our first Family Day is coming up! There will be a bounce house, music, snowballs, and the opportunity to pour your own flavor! We're excited to see you and your family there!

Location: Charlie's Snow Shack 14 NW 7th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601

Time: Saturday, April 15, 2023, 12:00 pm -  6:00 pm

Cost: Free admission

Family Fun Day | Charlie’s Snow Shack Hawaiian Shave Ice

Roots Plant Studio 2nd Birthday

Roots is turning two! We are so grateful for all of your support! Join us for a day of celebrating! Complementary food and drinks, raffles, sales, and giveaways! We will be giving out goodie bags for the first 50 purchases of the day ($20 purchase minimum).

Location: Roots Plant Studio, 4780 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32606

Time: Sunday, April 16, 2023, 12:00 pm -  4:00 pm

Cost: Free

2nd Birthday Celebration | Roots Plant Studio

Alachua County Library Headquarters BranchEarth Month: Gardening and Crafts to celebrate our planet!

Join us on the first three Thursdays of April at 3:30 PM to celebrate Earth Day and National Gardening month! Each week we will be creating something fun together for you to take home. No registration required but supplies are limited on a first come basis.

Location: Headquarters Library (Storywoods Room) 401 East University Avenue Gainesville, FL 32601

Time: Thursday, April 20, 2023,  3:30 pm -  4:30 pm

Cost: Free

Earth Month Gardening and Crafts | Alachua County Library

Band Instrument Safari Adventure

4th and 5th grade students are invited to participate in a Band Instrument Safari Adventure that will include: A Scavenger Hunt, Instrument Petting Zoo (students will get to touch and hold the instruments), Photo Booth (students can get their photo with the instruments), Food Trucks and Live performances from Middle and High School Band students. Come join us for an afternoon of fun and adventure!

The first 50 4th and 5th graders to complete the Scavenger Hunt will get a free t-shirt!

Location: Thornbrooke Village - 2441 NW 43rd St #6d, Gainesville, FL 32606

Time: Friday, April 21, 2023,  5:30 pm -  7:30 pm

Cost: Free

Safari Band Instrument Adventure | Thornebrook Village
Posted in Community Events
April 12, 2023

A Guide to Living in Turkey Creek: North Central Florida's Best-Kept Secret

Home with pond view for sale in Turkey Creek, Gainesville FL

Hey there, fellow Floridians! It's your favorite real estate agents here, and today we're going to spill the tea on a hidden gem that's been hiding in plain sight: Turkey Creek in Gainesville, FL.

Gainesville may be Gator Country, but trust us, Turkey Creek is the kind of place that makes you forget about football rivalries for a moment and just enjoy the leisurely pace of a first-rate golf course community.

The Neighborhood

First things first, let's talk about the neighborhood. Turkey Creek is a quaint, tree-lined community with a wide range of homes scattered around the golf course that put the neighborhood on the map. 

The Nature

What really makes Turkey Creek stand out is the nature. The neighborhood is surrounded by the lush greenery of the 375-acre Turkey Creek Preserve, making you feel like you're living in a nature preserve. There's even a creek (hence the name) that winds through the development.

Turkey Creek hiking trail

3 Forest Baths in Turkey Creek

These three nature walks are within a very short drive of Turkey Creek, Gainesville's premiere golf community. Read more »

The Homes

Now, let's talk about the homes. You won't find cookie-cutter homes here, folks. The 1,200+ homes of Turkey Creek are a mix of established and new construction homes and condos ranging in size from 900 to over 3,000 sq ft, many with golf course views. Larger estates occasionally come on the market as well. Each house in Turkey Creek has its own unique character and charm. And the best part? The prices are surprisingly affordable for a neighborhood with such a great location and amenities.

Home for sale in Turkey Creek, a Gainesville, FL golf community

The Location

Speaking of location, Turkey Creek is conveniently located 20 minutes north of Gainesville, Florida, just a short drive from the University of Florida and all the shopping, dining, and entertainment Gainesville has to offer. But you don't even have to leave the neighborhood for great amenities.

The Miracle at Turkey Creek

Aerial shot of Turkey Creek golf community in Gainesville FL
Aerial shot of Turkey Creek golf community in Gainesville FL

The links at Turkey Creek were not always as awe-inspiring as they are today. By the late 2000s the golf course had fallen into disrepair. Local volunteers came to the rescue, putting in sweat equity to help restore the course to its former glory.

The renovation project was a challenging endeavor, requiring a significant amount of effort and resources from Turkey Creek neighbors. But through their dedication and grit, the community was able to transform the course into a beautiful and playable golf destination. Golf Digest dubbed the renaissance the "Miracle at Turkey Creek."

So, there you have it – Turkey Creek, North Central Florida's best-kept secret. If you're looking for a peaceful, nature-filled community with all the golf-centric amenities you need, this is the place for you. And if you already live in Turkey Creek, well, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. 

Contact Rabell Realty Group

Interested in buying a home in Gainesville FL? Contact Rabell Realty Group today.

Check out more awesome Gainesville communities by following the links below.

Blues Creek

A tight-knit community of single-family homes in NW Gainesville. Learn more »

Town of Tioga

Swimming pool in Town of Tioga

A walkable community full of shops, amenities and Southern charm. Learn more »

High Springs

Dining room of luxurious High Springs cottage

A refreshing getaway and a great place to live. Learn more »

 

Posted in Community News
April 6, 2023

Weekly Gainesville Area Events: April 8 - April 14

Eggcellent Spring Carnival at The Family Church

Hey Gainesville! We are so looking forward to this upcoming Easter! We want to invite you, your family, and friends to The Family Church for our spring carnival. We will have egg hunts for different ages, cake walk, petting zoo, face painting, carnival games, and much more! We hope you will join us for the fun on our front lawn Saturday, April 8th from 9:00 am-12:00 pm! For more information please feel free to send a message on our facebook page!

Location: The Family Church, 2022 SW 122nd St, Gainesville, FL 32607

Time: Saturday, April 8, 2023,  9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Cost: Free to attend

Eggcellent Spring Carnival | The Family Church

City of Alachua Easter Egg Hunt

Mark your calendars for an absolutely 'hopping' good time this Saturday, April 8, at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex! Starting at 10 am, come enjoy an exciting egg hunt, free children's gift baskets and stuffed bunnies, donated by Dollar General. On top of all this, there will even be a special guest appearance by the Easter Bunny - here to take photos with every guest!

Location: Hal Brady Recreation Complex 14300 NW 146th Terrace, Alachua, Fl, 32615

Time: Saturday, April 8, 2023, 10:00 am - 12:00 am

Cost: Free

Easter Egg Hunt | City of Alachua

Ginnie Springs Easter Egg Hunt

Join us for our water and land egg hunt at Ginnie Springs! Snorkelers will have the opportunity to compete for over 180 underwater eggs with total prizes valued over $1,000. There is a maximum of 3 eggs per snorkeler and only registered campers may compete in the water hunt. Over 7,000 eggs containing toys and candy will be waiting for children to find on Easter morning! The four age group categories for the hunt are 1-2 years, 3-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-11 years and all children must be accompanied by an adult!

Location: Ginnie Springs 7300 Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL 32643

Time: Sunday, April 9, 2023, 8:00 am

Cost: See website for pricing

Easter Egg Hunt | Ginnie Springs

Easter Egg Hunt - University City Church of Christ

Join us at University City Church of Christ for a fun filled Easter Egg Hunt! All ages are welcome, bags to collect eggs will be provided if needed. Event will be held from 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM on Easter and is Free/Open to the public. Come celebrate with us!

Location: University City Church of Christ - 4626 NW 8th Ave Gainesville, FL 32605

Time: Sunday, April 9, 2023,  4:30 pm -  5:45 pm

Cost: Free

Photo by Frank Zhang on Unsplash

Alachua County Library Read with a Dog - High Springs Branch

Therapy dogs love to be read to, so bring in your favorite book to read or choose one of ours. Children will have fun reading to a dog and will feel more confident in their ability to read aloud in a friendly and supportive group setting. This bi-weekly program is especially designed for children ages 5 - 11.

Location: High Springs Branch Meeting Room 23779 W US HWY 27 High Springs, FL 32643

Time: Wednesday, April 12, 2023,  2:00 pm -  3:00 pm

Cost: Free

Read With a Dog | Alachua County Library
Posted in Community Events
April 1, 2023

Blue Origin to fly six suborbital space travelers next month, including Florida real estate broker

The crew for Blue Orgini's next suborbiptal spaceflight includes, clockwise from top left, retired astronaut Bob Behnken, student A.L. van der Meer, Vess Flights founder Bane Branch, entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, real estate broker Kristen Rabell, and engineer Sanjal Gavande

SEATTLE (AP) — Blue Origin announced on Wednesday that they will be launching six suborbital space travelers next month, including the first real estate agent to go into space.

The travelers will be flown aboard the New Shepard spacecraft, which is expected to reach an altitude of more than 100 kilometers. Among the passengers are a retired NASA astronaut, a billionaire tech entrepreneur, an 18-year-old Dutch physics student, and a Florida real estate broker.

Bob Behnken, a veteran astronaut who previously flew on the SpaceX Demo-2 mission, is among the six travelers on the upcoming Blue Origin flight. Behnken made history when he and astronaut Doug Hurley became the first astronauts to fly to the International Space Station on a commercial spacecraft. When asked about his upcoming flight with Blue Origin, Behnken said, "I'm excited to be a part of this historic mission, and I'm looking forward to experiencing weightlessness again. It's always an incredible feeling to see our planet from space, and I can't wait to share that with the other passengers on board."

Jared Isaacman, the CEO of the payments processing firm Shift4 Payments, is preparing to embark on his third spaceflight. “It never gets old,” Isaacman said on this morning’s GMA show.

Kristen Rabell, the Florida real estate broker, won her seat on the flight at a charity auction. She will be the first registered realtor to go into space. "I've always been fascinated by space and the idea of exploring new frontiers,” she told AP.

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos also expressed his excitement for the upcoming launch. "We're thrilled to be taking this diverse group of individuals to space and back," Bezos said in a statement. "It's a reminder of how space can bring people from all walks of life together."

When asked if he was nervous about the upcoming flight, Dutch physics student A.L. van der Meer said, "Of course, I have some nerves, but I am more excited than anything to understand the physical laws of Earth from a new perspective. Plus, I have full faith in Blue Origin's engineering and the crew’s training, so I am confident that everything will go smoothly."

Blue Origin emphasized that all safety protocols will be followed to ensure a safe and successful mission. The company also noted that this launch is part of their efforts to make space tourism accessible to everyone.

Rabell, the Florida real estate broker, said that she has always been interested in space and even took astronomy classes in college. “But I never thought I'd be the first real estate agent in space. Who knows where this might lead?" Rabell said, adding with a chuckle, "maybe I'll be the first one to sell lunar condos, or maybe even villas on Mars. The sky's not even the limit anymore!”

DISCLAIMER: The facts in this article are not true and are intended solely for the purposes of humor and satire. April Fool's!

Posted in Community News
March 27, 2023

Don’t Miss the Gainesville Parade of Homes this April!

In Gainesville, the arrival of spring also means the return of the Parade of Homes, a time-honored tradition that draws eager crowds of prospective homebuyers, homeowners looking for new ideas, and lots of unabashed Looky-Loos!

Looky-Loos like this guy from Portlandia fame are more than welcome at Gainesville's Parade of Homes -- that's the whole point!

The Parade of Homes showcases the finest examples of architecture and design in Gainesville, with visitors flocking to see the latest trends and innovative ideas in homebuilding. From sleek and modern to classic and timeless, the Parade of Homes offers something for everyone.

When is the Parade of Homes?

The spring edition of the Parade of Homes takes place on two weekends this April: the 15th and 16th and the 22nd and 23rd. Admission is free and open to the public from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Where does the tour it start?

The Parade of Homes is a self-guided tour. You can start the tour at any of the homes on the interactive map below, and you get to visit the homes at your own pace.

A time-honored Gainesville tradition

The Builders Association of North Central Florida (BANCF) has hosted the event since 1958, the year the hula hoop was invented and At The Hop by Danny & The Juniors was the top charting song. A testament to Gainesville’s love of tradition, the cherished event brings the community together and celebrates the beauty and creativity of Gainesville's homebuilders and designers.

Meet some of Gainesville's top builders and remodelers

Parade participants will get the chance to explore a wide range of innovative home designs, decor, and energy-efficient construction practices. It’s a great opportunity to chat one-on-one with builders and remodelers. You'll get the inside scoop on their capabilities to customize a home or renovation to suit your family's unique needs. Here is a rundown on the esteemed local builders with newly constructed homes on the tours:

  • GW Homes
  • Hartley Brothers
  • AR Homes
  • Tommy Waters Custom Homes
  • Warring Homes
  • Dibros Design & Construction
  • Emmer Development
  • Spain & Cooper Homes
  • Norfleet Construction
  • Viking Construction Company of Florida

Explore Gainesville's fastest growing neighborhoods

Home for sale in Oakmont, a subdivision of Gainesville FL
A home for sale in Oakmont, an upscale subdivision in Gainesville FL

It’s also worth doing the tour to check out neighborhood amenities and get to know some of the fastest-growing new neighborhoods in Alachua County. Here are the neighborhoods featured in the Spring Parade of Homes. We’ve featured some of them in our series of neighborhood / real estate guides, so feel free to follow the links.

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Parade Magazine. The magazine is available at every site on the tour and includes floor plans, renderings, and features of the homes on display.

We hope to see you there!

Is there a cost to attend?

There is no cost to attend the Parade of Homes. It is a free tour organized by BANCF and local builders.

Are the homes for sale?

Some homes in the Parade may be for sale. Get in touch with a real estate agent at Rabell to find out if a particular home on the tour is for sale. The builder may have other similar homes for sale as well.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 23, 2023

Weekly Gainesville Area Events: March 25 - March 31

 

WallDogs Dive into High Springs - A Mural and History Festival

At this event, 10 works of art are distributed across the beautiful city of High Springs showcasing its rich history and culture through the art of mural storytelling. Discover your roots, celebrate with your neighbors and come together with us as we create history.

Location: High Springs Main St, High Springs, FL 32643

Time: Saturday, March 25, 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Cost: Free to attend

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WallDogs Dive into High Springs | A Mural and History Festival

Little Ears Field Day

Hosted by UF’s Student Academy of Audiology and Hearoes for Hearing, Little Ears Field Day provides a day of fun, games, and learning about hearing and audiology for the pediatric patients we serve in our community and their families! We are so excited to be able to put on this event again and have so many fun activities planned for both children and adults to enjoy. We hope to see you there!

Location: Norman Field 1200 SW 8th Ave, Gainesville FL 32601

Time: Saturday, March 25, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Cost: Free

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Little Ears Field Day | UF Student Academy of Audiology and Hearoes for Hearing

Thornebrook Spring Art Festival

We are excited to announce our second Spring Arts Festival! Fine artists and craftsmen will be exhibiting throughout the park-like setting of Shoppes At Thornebrook.

Many of your favorite artists from our Fall Arts Festival and new faces are coming to enhance your enjoyment. Art on display includes painting, sculpture, photography, glass works, fiber arts, wood carvings, pottery, jewelry, and more.

The show  is laid out to take advantage of the ambiance and convenience of the Shoppes at Thornebrook and its stores, restaurants, and other amenities.

Several dining options to choose from include bagels, fresh sandwiches and salads from Bageland, soups, sandwiches and salads from Formaggio's, and a variety of Latin fusion offerings at Cintron. Enjoy Cintron's signature Sunday brunch at our outdoor shaded patio or stop by Thornebrook Chocolates for artisan gelato. Follow our page for updates on artists, vendors, and music lineup.

Location: Shoppes at Thornebrook 2441 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville FL 32606

Time: Sunday, March 26, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Cost: Free

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Thornebook Spring Arts Festival | Shoppes at Thornebrook

Fresh Laundry and Cafe Ribbon Cutting + Free Laundry

Join us as we celebrate Fresh Laundry & Cafe as they spread some love to the local community by providing FREE LAUNDRY Day as a way to serve the underserved people of Gainesville. Fresh Laundry & Cafe is a new laundromat and cafe where customers can experience great service, enjoy some food in the cafe, and their mission is to serve and unite our local community by providing a tangible service to our low-income, under-served neighbors and to give them hope and love.

The event is being organized with the Laundry Cares Foundation and more; they will incorporate mobile clinics on site for free health screenings, and provide some local musical entertainment, and face painting for the kids.

Pizza and refreshments will be served and keep your eyes peeled for some giveaways. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will commence at 4:30pm.

Location: Fresh Laundry & Cafe 3830 SW 13th Street, Gainesville FL 32608

Time: Tuesday, March 28, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Cost: Free

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony | Fresh Laundry and Cafe Ribbon Cutting

Santa Fe College Fine Arts and Entertainment Technology Departments presents Elements of Style

"Elements of Style” Has Choreography by Guest Artists and Faculty. Audiences can expect to be delighted when the Dance Theatre of Santa Fe performs traditional West African dance, hip hop, classical ballet, contemporary modern and musical theater dance styles in the annual “Elements of Style” performances at 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, March 31-April 1, 2023.

Location: Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus of Santa Fe College (SF) 3000 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville FL 32606

Time: Friday, March 31, 7:30 PM - 9:15 PM 

Cost: $15 for adults, $9 for seniors, students, military service members, children 12 & under, Free for SF students, faculty and staff with college ID cards

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Posted in Community Events
March 9, 2023

Weekly Gainesville Area Events: March 11 - March 17

GROW HUB Spring Pop-Up Shop

Join us on the second Saturday of March, April, and May for our Pop-Up Shop series! The event is free, outdoors, and fun for all ages!

Shop from local vendors and enjoy our amazing selection of plants and art. We'll also have live music, food, and kids activities!

Location: GROW HUB Nursery, 2900 NE 8th Avenue, Gainesville FL 32609

Time: Saturday, March 11, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Cost: Free

Spring Pop-Up Shops | Grow Hub Gainesville 

Back to The 80’s Music Festival

It is time to break out the hairspray, leg warmers, and all-things 80’s for a day of authentic blast-from-the-past music in this multi-generational cultural celebration that will feature a “Gotta Dress Totally Rad” contest, a live tribute concert with a performance by Breakfast Club and the “Hot Tub Time Machine 80’s Dance Party area paying tribute to one of the greatest eras of our time.

Location: Homestead Park Williston 1050 NE 6th Blvd, Williston FL 32696

Time: Saturday, March 11, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Cost: Free admission and parking

Back to the 80’s Music Festival | Homestead Park Williston

Gainesville Cars and Coffee

Our meet is a family-friendly gathering, open to all automotive enthusiasts and is free to attend. It is an opportunity for local car enthusiasts to get together for a cup of coffee and to show off each other's vehicles regardless if it's an import, exotic, classic, or jalopy.

This event will be held on the 2nd Sunday of each month in the Whole Foods Market Parking Lot, so if you miss this month’s event you have plenty of time to join in on the festivities!

Location: Whole Foods Market Parking Lot 3490 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville FL 32608

Time: Sunday, March 12, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Cost: Free

Gainesville Cars and Coffee March Car Meet

Spring Break Days at Amber Brooke Farms (formerly Red White and Blue Farms)

Come by the farm for Spring Break Days at Amber Brooke Farms!

This is the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful spring day while spending time with family and friends. Come and enjoy our jumping pads, giant slide hill, new bubble barn, yard games, playgrounds, and more!

Location: Amber Brooke Farms 3250 NE 140th Ave, Williston FL 32696

Time: Wednesday, March 15, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Cost: Free admission | U-Pick Strawberries $3.95/lb | Farm Fun Cards $10 for the Day or $20 for the Season

Spring Break on the Farm | Amber Brooke Farms

Cade After Dark Family Fun Night

Cade After Dark has expanded this year to include three unique events! Join us on Friday, March 17th from 6 pm-9 pm for our Cade After Dark Family Fun Night! Unwind at the Cade and enjoy a night of fun with the whole family! Fun activities for kids (and parents too!) Includes 1 adult beverage for the grown-ups, Finger foods, science experiments, games, and more! Don’t forget to register online to secure your spot!

Location: Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention 811 S Main St, Gainesville FL 32601

Time: Friday, March 17, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Cost: Free Youth 0-4, $10 Youth 5-17, $5 Adults 18+

Cade After Dark Family Fun Night | Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Posted in Community Events
March 7, 2023

Good Mortgage News for First-Time Homebuyers

For buyers with affordability concerns, we have some good mortgage news to share. Both the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) have announced reductions in their financing fees for their mortgage programs. Read on to learn how these loan programs work and how much you could be saving!

FHA Reduces Mortgage Insurance Premium

The FHA has reduced their annual mortgage insurance costs – this will reduce the monthly mortgage insurance premium paid by the borrower. 

The annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for FHA loans will decrease from 0.85% to 0.55%, the White House announced last week. MIP is the monthly insurance fee that borrowers with FHA loans pay in addition to monthly interest and principal payments on their mortgages.

What Are FHA Loans?

FHA loans are home loans that are backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The FHA is a government agency that helps to make homeownership more accessible to people who might not otherwise be able to qualify for a mortgage. FHA loans are designed to be more affordable and accessible than conventional mortgages, which can be especially helpful for first-time home buyers.

How FHA Loans Can Help First Time Homebuyers

Loan counsellor walking couple through new construction loan process

One of the key benefits of FHA loans is that they often require lower down payments than conventional loans. While conventional mortgages typically require a down payment of at least 5% (and sometimes as much as 20%), FHA loans can require as little as 3.5% down. This can make it easier for first-time homebuyers to get into the housing market, even if they don't have a lot of savings.

Another advantage of FHA loans is that they have more lenient credit requirements than conventional mortgages. While a conventional lender might require a credit score of 620 or higher, the FHA allows borrowers with credit scores as low as 580 to qualify for a loan. This can be a big help for people who have less-than-perfect credit or who are still building their credit history.

How Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) Work

While there are some things to consider when it comes to FHA loans, such as paying for mortgage insurance premiums (MIP), there are still many benefits to this type of loan. MIP is like insurance that protects the lender in case you can't make your mortgage payments. And while MIP can't be canceled, it's a small price to pay for the benefits of an FHA loan.

The amount of MIP you pay will depend on factors like your down payment size, the loan term, and the loan-to-value ratio (LTV). With the right financial planning, an FHA loan can still be a great option for many homebuyers.

The FHA reduction to the annual MIP rate is welcome news for folks looking to become first time homebuyers. The drop is expected to affect 850,000 borrowers this year and save homeowners $800 a year on average, according to the White House

Learn more about FHA Loan Requirements for 2023 here.

VA Reduces Funding Fee Cost

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reduced their upfront VA Funding Fee for Vets who typically finance this fee in their mortgage amount. Please note, veterans who receive VA disability are exempt from the VA Funding Fee cost.

What is the VA Funding Fee?

The VA funding fee is a one-time payment that a veteran pays on a VA-backed or VA direct home loan when they close on the home. The VA home loan program doesn’t require down payments or monthly mortgage insurance, so this fee helps to defray the cost of the loan for taxpayers. 

Learn more about the VA Loan program here.

30-Year Mortgage Rate Dips Below 7%

Another small piece of good news for prospective home buyers: Today's 30-year mortgage rates dip below 7%, according to a Fox Business report. Homebuyers seeking a longer repayment term may want to consider locking in a rate today ahead of likely increases.

What is a Good Mortgage Rate?

A good mortgage rate is the one that's attainable for you based on your unique circumstances, such as your credit score, earnings, other financial obligations, down payment size, and other factors.

A good mortgage rate leaves you enough room in your budget to contribute towards savings and investments. It should also be competitive compared to the average rates in the area where you plan to purchase a home.

To give you some context, mortgage rates hit an all time high of 16.63%  in 1981, when inflation was rampant. They fell to a 30 year low of 2.96% in 2021, and have since shot up to nearly 7% in an effort to slow inflation. 

30-year mortgage rate from December 2022 to March 2023 via TradingEconomics.com

When Will Mortgage Rates Go Back Down?

This is a good question that we get all the time. Interest rates are expected to continue to go up before coming back down again, hopefully by the end of the year.

When prices go down, the cost of borrowing money for a home is likely to go down too. However, the government is keeping an eye on prices to make sure they stay down over a sustained period of time before they stop raising the interest rate on home mortgages. 

Posted in Real Estate News
March 2, 2023

Weekly Gainesville Area Events: March 4 - March 10

Ta-RUN-tula 5K with the Florida Museum of Natural History

Celebrate spiders! Our seventh annual run is the Ta-RUN-tula 5K to get all of your legs moving and invite you to our new special exhibit, Spiders Alive! The race will be a combination of nature trails and quiet roads here on UF campus.

This is a fun run, so go at your own pace. We won’t be recording times or giving placement prizes.

Not in Gainesville? We have a virtual option for people who want to take part remotely! Everyone who participates, in-person or virtually, will receive a shirt and medal. In-person runners can also use their medals to receive free entry to Spiders Alive! on race day.

Location: Florida Museum of Natural History 3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611

Time: Saturday, March 4, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Cost: $30 For registrants after February 3, 2023 | $30 participating virtually

Ta-RUN-tula 5k | Florida Museum of Natural History 

Charlie's Snow Shack: Free Shave Ice Day

You all know what time it is! Our annual Free Shave Ice day is coming up soon, and we have so many fun things planned! Please mark your calendars for March 4, 2023! Stay tuned for more information, and spread the word to everyone you know!

Location: Charlie’s Snow Shack 14 NW 7th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601

Time: Saturday, March 4, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Cost: Free

Free Shave Ice Day | Charlie's Snow Shack 

Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary March Farmers Moo-ket

Join us for our March Farmers Moo-ket! Elder and Wally will be there ready to meet everyone. We will have pig tours from 12-3:30 pm (just make sure you wear closed-toe shoes to enter the pasture to get your muddy kisses). There will also be free “cookie” stations for feeding the cows. All food and products sold are 100% plant based.

Due to connectivity issues of some vendors, it is highly suggested that you bring CASH.

Location: Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary 12626 NW Co Rd 231, Gainesville, FL 32609

Time: Sunday, March 5, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Cost: Free admission

March Farmers Moo-ket | Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary

Nothing Bundt Cakes 111 years of OREO®! Limited FREE Bundtlets!

FREE BUNDTLET COMING SOON! Nothing Bundt Cakes are celebrating 111 years of OREO® on March 6 by giving away OREO® Cookies & Cream Bundtlets to the first 111 guests at the Butler Plaza store starting at 1:11 pm!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To receive a free OREO® Cookies & Cream Bundtlet, you must be one of the first 111 guests at the Butler Plaza Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery starting at 1:11 pm. Limit one (1) Bundtlet per guest, while promotional supplies last. Must claim in person. Under 18 need parent or guardian present. Offer not valid online or over phone. No product or flavor substitutions.

Naturally and artificially flavored. OREO and the OREO Wafer Design are trademarks of Mondelēz International group, used under license.

Location: Nothing Bundt Cakes 3228 SW 35th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32608

Time: Monday, March 6, 1:11 PM

Cost: Free

Free OREO® Bundt Cakes | Nothing Bundt Cakes

Big Top Brewing Company Harry Potter Trivia

Big Top Brewing is bringing you an all new Harry Potter trivia series brought to you by the Qwizards! Each month, fans will be quizzed on one book from the Harry Potter series with content split by difficulty level – OWL and NEWT. This month, “Goblet of Fire” is the featured book! Be sure to arrive for check in between 6:30pm and 7pm as the game begins promptly at 7pm! Pre-registration is required, so be sure to get your tickets here

Location: Big Top Brewing Company 201 SE 2nd Ave #101, Gainesville, FL 32601

Time: Thursday March 9, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Cost: Single Event-$8 per player, Annual Pass-$90 per player

Harry Potter Trivia | Big Top Brewing Company
Posted in Community Events